Cape Town, Day 2

Tuesday, March 7

Today François led us in our rugby training, including throwing, catching, running, positions, scrums, throw ins, and everything else to make it look like we knew what we were doing.  After our rugby lesson we ate lunch at the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy. From there we did sight-seeing at Boulder’s Beach and both Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. What were your favorite parts about today’s activities and what were your takeaways, as related to new insights you gained about South Africa?

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Nick knows you gotta pass behind you.

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12 Responses to “Cape Town, Day 2”

  1. Caley Says:

    My favorite part of today wasn’t included in the itinerary: hiking Lion’s Head at sunrise. There’s no better feeling than summiting a mountain before the city even wakes up. We left the hotel at 5:15 AM, and reached the top by 6:30 AM. It was a truly once in a lifetime experience and I think back on it as one of my favorite South Africa moments.

  2. Phil Says:

    Still limping on my bum foot, I still gave my best attempt to run around during the rugby training. Tons of fun, although I think I was still throwing the ball like a football by the end of it.

    I enjoyed the lunch after the most as I was able to speak to the instructors and understand a little bit more about the academy. Their passion for the game was infectious, although it was surprising to see how focused the academy was on rugby education instead of a balanced education with potential backup career paths. They also enjoyed a good chuckle at the way I pronounced “ball” and “water”.

  3. Samantha Frapart Says:

    This day was much more fun than I had expected. I’m not great at team sports, but I enjoy a good, sunny day and learning something new. One aspect of this experience that wasn’t necessarily surprising, but still quite jarring was the immense amount of sexism that seemed welcome in SA. The irony of the level of misogynist behavior targeted at a bunch of female MBAs was not lost on me. I speak on behalf of women everywhere when I say to Francios that teaching children to play rugby is in no way proof that you can also teach women. And be careful…some day Moni could be your boss!

  4. Sam Says:

    As Caley mentioned, the best part of today was the feeling of reaching the summit of Lion’s Head in time to watch the sun rise over the rest of the city.

    The training and meeting with the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy was interesting since it was perhaps the most direct interaction we had to the educational system in South Africa. The notion that being a “sportsman” was a full-time and long-term career certainly differs from our perception of amateur and professional athletes at home.

  5. John Says:

    I liked the contrast between this rugby academy and SA Rugby’s presentation the day before. The previous day’s major national implications were washed away in favor of creating ‘men of value’, with a much more individual focus.

    The day also highlighted some misogyny issues that South Africa is dealing with, which are less publicly discussed than the obvious racial tensions.

  6. Linda Says:

    I came into this activity with cynicism because I didn’t really care to play rugby, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had. The coach took it easy on us, letting us do fun, short drills. I would have liked to see the actual SRA team play, but I’m sure we needed to get out of the way. Their grounds felt like a really nice summer camp. Women cooked all their meals and did their laundry (I could see a woman folding laundry across the street from the dining hall). I hope they add a new value to their posted list – don’t expect a woman to do all this crap for you when you grow up.

  7. Tyler Says:

    I came into the rugby training having already hiked Lion’s Head that morning for sunrise. I knew it was going to be a long, exhausting day, and the rugby drills they ran us through confirmed that. I did manage to score a ‘try’ during one of the scrimmages, which was a highlight for me. Learning about the academy system in South African rugby gave me some great context for how they develop talent from youth leagues to professional leagues.

  8. Bill Quach Says:

    I enjoyed this day. Many of the rugby activities felt more authentic and less catered towards tourists. It was clear that François did not filter his thoughts and speech and I think we all gained a better perspective of SA culture as a result of it. Seeing the young rugby players up close and having one of their typical meals at the Academy gave me a better look at a day in the life of a SA athlete. The spread of food resembled what we consume in the US, but with a slight twist making it new to me. Just as american lasagna is different from Italian lasagna, SA lasagna was different in its own right. Running into a group of Wharton MBAs at boulder’s beach reminded me of the number of tourists SA must see each year and got me thinking about where we fit into the SA economy.

  9. Garry Ferguson Says:

    Tuesday, 7 March: My body was adjusted and ready for rugby at this point. We stopped by the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy for a hands-on rugby tutorial courtesy of one of the coaches. Though light, the physical activity was just what the doctor ordered. Much like people remark about alcohol taking the proverbial edge off for some people, being physically active does that for me. It was fun learning a new sport, yet a little awkward, but the beauty of sports is that athleticism tends to transcend the game. Simply having some athletic ability makes it easier to establish at least a baseline proficiency at other sports. I’m sure musicians find their musical abilities transcendent among instruments as well. I’m glad we put this event near the beginning of our trip because it created an excellent foundation for building relationships the rest of the way.

    The academy itself was nostalgic for me. The players all lived together and strove toward similar goals. All of them support each other in competition. It took me back to my high school days (HAS-BEEN ALERT!) and reminded me of me and my teammates struggling to get better together in the gym, on the track, and on the practice field. These guys are so fortunate to be involved in a program like this. The relationships they build here will be unlike any other they have in life. They were certainly among the best for me.

  10. Garry Ferguson Says:

    Tuesday, 7 March ctd.: I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on my first taste of Ethiopian food. In short, it turns out that Ethiopian food is delish (delicious) and the experience was unsurprisingly enhanced by the fellowship of some outstanding folks, a common theme throughout the trip.

  11. Parnali Says:

    Today was certainly one of my most memorable and favorite parts of our visit to South Africa, given the number of activities we partook in and the extremely informational, welcoming South Africans we met. While I loved learning about Rugby, visiting Cape Point and Boulder’s beach, I was certainly reminded of how much harder some individuals lives are during our visit with Stellenbosch Rugby Academy. The fact that these young men and women are pulled out of their neighborhoods (away from their families) and essentially isolated on this compound in order to pursue their dreams, made me really feel for them. I had spoken with a young man who was at Stellenbosch and he openly admitted his family was not very well to do and because they lacked in financial funds, this was his best route to success. He also stated this was the case for most of his peers. There were several visits during our trip to Cape Town similar to this one that reminded me how fortunate I am to have the plethora of opportunities I do.

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